Business management with Kimble
I have used this product for 8 years (and counting) and have seen it grow in power and functionality on a regular basis. From a financial management perspective, it integrates well with Sage, Xero and other leading accounts packages. It is hard to imagine a better solution to professional services management.
This software is the ideal bridge between resource planning and management accounting on a day-to-day basis for project-based professional services organizations of every size and description. Its most practical application from a business management perspective within a small and specialized organization like Felber Consulting is its ability to raise invoices directly from authorized timesheets, track payments and thereby keep finances forever linked to the realities of HR capability and allocation.
The immense power of this product means that some organizations will need specialist support in particular areas of thier businesses to unleash its full potential.
Good, needs work.
There have been good things and bad things. At this point 5 months after going live I still cannot say definitively it was the right call. We certainly have had benefits in our financial, and resource planning areas, but we've also taken steps back in those areas as well, where the functionality was either over-promised, or it just can't quite do what we need it to.
Kimble provides a lot of functionality and flexibility for project management, financial management, resource planning, etc. Being on the Salesforce platform allows further customization, within or outside of Kimble.
Very clunky UI which hurts user adoption. Some of the out of the box reports simply weren't set up correctly and not working, there are far too many, and due to how the system was configured, and Salesforce's own reporting limitations, certain reports are unnecessarily complicated (utilization, resource availability by capability, etc.). The Visualforce pages/UI need a complete overhaul, there are hyperlinks to administrator areas (products, cost behavior rates) right on the engagement dashboard, there are links all over the place to the proposal, engagement, product, opportunity which greatly reduce user adoption as it takes many reminders to understand the difference between Proposal/engagement and where a user is at a given time.
PSA that allows you to look ahead not in the real view mirror
We manage our entire consulting business in Kimble and could not easily run our business without it.
Kimble integrates really well with Sales Cloud giving us end to end visibility of our Sales Forecast, Revenue Forecast, Team utilisation, Project Billing, Invoicing, Project and Business Unit Margin in Real Time. We can look forward and see issues before they occur when we can still take action. The solution supports all our Pre Sales, Sales and Delivery operations as well as being tightly integrated to our salesforce platform.
Kimble has a lot of functionality and as a result it can be hard to find what you are looking for if you are not in the tool every day. It has a complex data model to support all this functionality which can make writing new reports trickier than on vanilla salesforce however Kimble supply a vast array of reports out of the box which address everything we need without building additional reports.
- It's been interesting and a good learning experience
- Quick support when a ticket is raised
- Allocated accounts manager to for ad-hoc meetings. We use these meeting to explorer new features that can improve our current processors.
- Annual training sessions
- Period Management
- Supplier requisitions
Excellent PSA solution
Since implementing Kimble, we have been able to grow substantially without increasing our back office operation. We are now fully reliant on Kimble as our core system and very happy that it supports our business extremely well.
Kimble is a fully featured product that is growing in functionality with each release, with much of that led by the user base. Being based on the Salesforce platform, the integration facilities are excellent and the ability to customise the application are also very good. The support team are also very good.
While the application is fully supported within Lightning, most screens are not fully Lightning-enabled as yet and it is not yet possible to customise them fully.
"best in market PSA"
easy billing process
realtime view on project success
easy to use time & expense
better organization of resources
all in one solution for ALL relevant business processes in a typical consulting company
would prefer if Kimble could highlight the most important and most needed features (update 2018: this became much better with the new user interface)
Kimble is an integrated system that can be used by everybody; to manage sales opportunities and run engagements, to easily and quickly book time and expenses and to raise invoices at the end of the month. We operate globally and Kimble allows us to operate in the same way across all locations.
End to end sales and engagement management, accurate timesheet and expense recording resulting in timely invoicing
It takes dedicated training and learning to navigate and use the software to it's best capability
Poor experience for the implementation specialist
Project management suite built on SalesForce that can make the project management experience great for a project manager. Give good overall view of different reporting aspects such as time based revenue reporting.
Painful experience as a project member. Trying to understand workloads and projected hours can be difficult with the generalize way of assigning hours to workers. Isn't a great for time management entry and can be difficult to report on hours.
Kimble gives the visibility of the business while providing a platform for accountability
My experience, and our company's experience, has been good. We learn more all the time, and the ease of visibility of business revenue is amazingly powerful. Our teams have taken initiative to expand their use of the tool and are open to trying new features.
The instant visibility of how your company is doing - everything from proposals to invoicing, it shows revenue flow, resource availability, and project status. There is always more to implement, and we have the ability to implement what features we want, when we want it. By doing so, it also requires us to evaluate our business practices and align with best practices based on the way Kimble functions. Our Customer Success Managers have been amazing, responsive, and the team is always willing to help us implement additional functionality.
The administrator training and resources are lacking, where we need to depend upon ZenDesk and our Customer Success Manager to provide support. Most of the technical resources are based on how the technology functions, but it's difficult to find details on some of the options on the administrative side, and best practices on how customers use different features (such as usage of the Other Activities fields, and such). I think what is missing is the practical usage and governance suggestions around how to setup and use features, particularly as you are implementing them.
Thoughts on Kimble
It would be great if some fields were auto-populated. For example, as a recruiter, I need to manually type in my name, my Business Manager's name, and location every time I create a new resource record. It should automatically fill these fields out for me with the ability for me to override when needed.
Kimble does what our Management Consulting firm needs it to do. It tracks opportunities and resources, and has reporting functions.
This software tool could be much easier for users, it requires tons of manual data entry which is very administrative in nature.
Huge learning curve
We hired an outside consultant who was already using the platform to help us get through the set up process. I don't think we would have succeeded without her help because it really is complicated. Since launch, customer support has been very responsive and helpful.
I like the ability to build reports. Once you get the hang of it, setting up projects, invoicing, and filling timesheets are pretty straightforward. Flexibility to assign approval rules as you want for your org.
Huge learning curve. Still lots of features that I don't fully understand and I've been completely immersed in the platform for about 3 months (because I was tasked with learning it, getting it set up for our business, and training others). More casual users are having a tough time. Also, some of the functionality we were promised during the sales process was not actually available.
We use Kimble to track our applicants and all the stages they go through. I can't find anything good about this.
It's cumbersome, there are several steps to push a candidate through the process, and it takes forever to enter anything and save it. NOT A FAN
Implementing Kimble helped us with Resource Planning, Revenue Visibility and Forecasting, Increased Utilization, Time Capture. As a small services company, it forced us to really step up our game. But that's what's needed to grow...and not lose sleep due to guessing at resource availability, and also revenue/cost/margin projections.
Kimble lets you create templates for how you sell and deliver your services. You begin using it during the selling phase. Who will be your resources? What skills do they need? When will those resources be scheduled? The process follows all the way from the original proposal, through delivery, time and utilization tracking, and on through to invoicing. The unique thing about Kimble is that it's forward looking and forward planning.
The goal of any consulting company, and how Kimble is designed, is to reduce bench time and feel confident in taking on and planning delivery of products down the road. And as you do all that within Kimble you'll have a forward-looking financial picture as well. For us it's all about balancing the supply and demand. All project time, revenue, and costs for a project are mapped out for as far forward as your projecting. Usually you have extra FTEs doing just that work.
Take the time to do a proper implementation, and you'll need to dedicate plenty of time to testing all your use cases. There is a lot of knowledge transfer that has to happen, and we've had to resist the urge to rush through the implementation.
Not a dislike, but know that this is a tool to manage your business, and as such you'll want your delivery managers using it daily. You've got to engage with this product and it's process. If you don't, then it's just backward-looking time entry. Since you're reading this review I'm guessing you've had enough of that.
Considered view of a relatively new user
Our account managers are really helpful and we are slowly (after some years) getting reliable MI out of the system. However, the licensing costs are crazy and we are paying for far more than we use.
Using Kimble has enabled us to ensure everyone is working accurately under contract, can self bill and be paid easily.
There are also lots of features for reporting and creating your own, bespoke, reports if you have people that can do such things.
The phone app is better now and works well.
The customer service people are always very willing to help and clearly try to resolve issues.
I have nothing to compare against so some of these issues may be industry-wide, however:
- It is not an intuitive system either as a user or as an administrator. For a SME, we don't tend to have people working full time on the system and so, unless you use it consistently, it is easy to forget odd conventions that lead you in a wrong direction.
- It is too big for what we need. There are so many options, it is bewildering and I do wonder if a paired back 'lite' version at a more reasonable price would help.
- The pricing is terrible. Having to buy packs of licenses is out-of-date and, in the current climate, being told we have no options to spread an annual payment across 12 months means Kimble itself is now on our corporate risk register (the only option offered was a 6 month split but with a 6% premium added because of the tie-in with Salesforce. In the days of pay-as-you-go, this is outdated and unfair.
Automating our E2E business
Kimble has been fundamental to our growth. As we've scaled, it's helped us with tasks that were simple when we were only a few people:
- Understanding our sales pipeline
- Knowing resource availability
- Tracking project financials
- Month end and billing
- Recording client information and conversations
Kimble supports the bulk of our business, from first conversations with a client, to resourcing and from managing a live project, to invoicing. Kimble automates what would otherwise be laborious manual processes and rewards up front effort. For example, resourcing information entered during the sales process allows you to quickly find the right person for that role based on availability and skill set and consultant's timesheet entries become invoicable items that finance can quickly process.
The user interface could be improved. Kimble has a complex data structure, which makes it really powerful but somewhat confusing to the standard user. A friendlier, more intuitive interface would help users get up to speed quickly and properly benefit from the tool.
"Feature Rich & Powerful PSA That Supports Our Growth"
For us the most important functions are revenue recognition and resource utilization. Our current systems tend to view metrics in smallish chunks, utilization was inaccurate and based more on word-of-mouth. We needed a complete picture, most systems can tell you what happened, we need to see what "is" going to happen and how that will impact our revenues and personnel. Our growth is explosive and we need a proven tool to help us effectively manage it.
Functionality is complete and well thought out with the flexibility to meet all the use cases we could throw at it. Administration has been simplified albeit you need to familiarize yourself with some of the terminology first. Ongoing technical support was important to us, we didn't want to feel like it was a "a one and done" project and so far they have met our needs.
It's important to devote a significant amount of time to learning, practicing and testing during your implementation which has always been a pain-point for us. I wish it could be faster but I understand the flexibility of the application and our tribal knowledge of the PS team required the effort.
Kimble is nimble
Time and expense on mobile that works
Been doing all my time and expense via the Kimble app for 3 years. Love it. Intuitive and reliable - no more receipt keeping. Integrates perfectly with sales force.com
Could be a bit smarter to reduce taps - like defaulting today's date to expense claims!